Perceptions & Attitudes of Interpreters with Regard to Sexual Orientation

Abstract

Acknowledging the lack of information regarding the interpreting profession and its perceptions, misconceptions, and overall understanding of homosexuality, the purpose of this research was to obtain empirical evidence regarding differences among homosexual and heterosexual interpreters regarding their perceived identity and attitudes within multi-faceted, socio-cultural constraints. The data was collected via standardized case presentations and rating forms distributed to individuals who were non-randomly selected, with anonymity protected in all phases of research. ANOVAs were performed in comparing Lichert Scale answers to the rating form items between and within the two populations.

Results indicate differences between groups in self-perception, perception of others, identity, and global attitudes. Many of these disparities can be attributed to socio-cultural norms, differences between attributes afforded by cultural backgrounds, as well as established hierarchies of interpersonal and intrapersonal identity expression, with clear definition along boundaries according to sexual orientation. Heterosexual individuals displayed, in general, more positive attitudes and perceptions than homosexual interpreters towards the homosexual interpreter.

Paper's Title:  Swartz, D.B. (1993). Perceptions & Attitudes of Interpreters with Regard to Sexual Orientation. Paper presented at RID Biennial Convention, Evanston, Indiana, 1993.  (57 pages)

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